06 Aug Summer Tree Pruning
You may or may not know that for most tree species that grow here in North Texas, summer isn’t the best time of year for tree pruning. But of course, just like with nearly everything else, there are always exceptions to that rule.
There are a variety of reasons why you may need to perform tree trimming in the summer months. These include having:
- Tree limbs that are broken or falling and posing safety hazards to the people and structures on your property.
- Tree limbs that are hanging over the roofs of structures of your property, which can pose serious threats to your structures in the event of summer storm damage or a limb that otherwise falls.
- A diseased tree with a fungal infection. In this case, summer tree pruning is necessary to remove diseased limbs and prevent the fungal infection from spreading further.
- A tree infestation that has damaged limbs on your tree.
- Storm damage to your tree after heavy winds or North Texas thunderstorms.
If you’re experiencing one of the above-listed scenarios, read on. The following tips for performing summer tree trimming can resolve your tree issue. And by using these techniques, you can perform summer tree pruning while also doing your best to prevent fungal infections and tree infestations that may happen with off-season tree trimming.
Tip #1: Avoid Pruning Trees in Rainy or Very Humid Weather
We know that telling you not to prune your North Texas trees when it’s humid outside sounds like an oxymoron. But hear us out.
Rain and humidity – when mixed with summer tree trimming – is a recipe for developing a fungal tree infection or pest infestation. Unless you have limbs that are posing an immediate risk to the people or structures on your property – in which case tree pruning should take place immediately – stay on top of your local weather forecast. Pick a sunny, dry summer day to trim your tree’s dead, diseased, or broken limbs when there’s less humidity in the air than normal.
Tip #2: Trim Your Trees During Dryer Months
Here in North Texas, May is typically our wettest month of the year. But that doesn’t mean we don’t get our fair share of precipitation during the summer months.
Ideally, you should be following weather forecasts and trimming your trees during drier summer months. If your tree is dry when you prune it in the summer, it’s less likely to develop a fungal infection or tree infestation.
You should also take special care when pruning certain tree species in the summer that are more prone to developing water-borne diseases. These include:
- Cherry trees.
- Apricot trees.
- Pluot trees.
Tip #3: Remove These Things When Trimming Your Trees in the Summer
If you must perform summer tree pruning, there are a few things you need to remove from your North Texas trees in addition to dead, broken, and diseased limbs. These include:
- Crossed branches that are rubbing up against each other.
Tip #4: Trim Trees Conservatively During North Texas Summers
When pruning trees during summer months, you need to remember that less is more. Unless you need to trim off branches that are hanging over a roof, now’s not the time to dramatically reshape your tree. Aesthetic trimming can be performed later in the year, during your tree’s dormant season.
Instead, you should trim back as little as possible from your tree. Only prune enough to remove the problem issue that prompted you to trim your tree in the summer, to begin with. And unless necessary to prevent a hazard, never take off more than 25% of your tree’s green leaves.
Tip #4: Use the Right Tree Trimming Tools
Trees are best trimmed when you’re using the most appropriate tools for the job. First, you should always wear protective gear when trimming your North Texas trees. This goes for summer tree pruning or tree trimming during any other time of the year. At a minimum, you should wear:
- Work gloves to reduce your risks of developing cuts or scratches on your hands.
- Safety glasses to prevent sawdust and other debris from going into your eyes.
- Well-fitting, sturdy shoes – preferably work boots – so you have steady footing when you’re standing on a ladder and trimming your trees.
Additionally, you should pick up the following tree trimming tools from your local hardware store, or borrow them from a neighbor:
- Hand pruner.
- Pruning saw.
- Tree shears.
Tip #5: Tree Trimming Techniques to Use
With summer tree pruning, you don’t want to just make straight, vertical trims to your tree’s branches. There are special techniques you need to follow when trimming your North Texas trees. These include:
- Cutting a wedge underneath the limb of a large, mature tree limb about 6” from where the branch meets the tree trunk.
- For large branches, vertically trim the branch from the top of the limb through the entire branch, then cut the stub parallel to the collar.
- For smaller branches and stems, use pruning shears to trim the desired branch at a slight angle just beyond a healthy bud or leaf.
Get Help With Summer Tree Pruning
There are a variety of reasons to turn to ISA-Certified Arborists like the ones on our team for summer tree pruning.
First, many homeowners simply don’t have time during their busy summers to perform this task. Second, tree trimming tools can be expensive and difficult to store, making it less ideal to buy them from your local hardware store. And finally, since many residents know that summer tree trimming is typically not recommended, they’re hesitant to perform this task on their own out of concern that they’ll prune their trees incorrectly, even if there is an urgent need such as a dead or broken limb that needs to be removed.
If you need help with summer tree trimming in North Texas, our team can help. We can send one of our ISA-Certified Arborists to safely and conservatively trim away your tree problem, all while doing our best to maintain and protect your tree’s health.
To schedule summer tree pruning by our ISA-Certified Arborists, call us today at 817-533-8438
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